How To Spend A Long-Weekend In Townsville

By Urban List Writers
21st Aug 2017

With Grand Final Weekend almost upon us (anyone else counting down the days?) there’s never been a better excuse to treat yourself to a long-weekend escape. Whether you like to unwind on land or water, rough it with a little adventure or enjoy a hint of luxury (all rise), we’ve found the ideal three-day weekend break out of Melbourne. The best part? You probably haven’t done it before.

Enter: white sand beaches, crystal clear water, an epic foodie scene, ocean-view hikes and alllll of the cocktails. Need another excuse? No passport or long-haul flight required. Meet our new fave North Queensland oasis—Townsville! 

And because we’re in a sharing-is-caring mood, we’ve teamed up with our mates at Tigerair Australia to get you there quickly, and with some pretty awesome deals, thanks to their new direct route from Melbourne.

Once you’ve booked your flight and bought your new ‘kini (these guys have a 27 degree average in spring, FYI), take note of our top things to eat, drink and do in Townsville. You’re welcome!

We’re calling it: Townsville has Australia’s most under-the-radar foodie scene. There, we said it. And if you’re anything like us, you’re in a serious food rut (we cannot eat another duck bao from Supernormal. Absolutely. No. Freaking. Way. Okay, maybe just one). So, let us introduce you to some of Townsville’s best eats.

Jam, run by owner and head chef Matt Merrin, is an all-day dining hub in the heart of Townsville and has recently taken the title of our favourite food haunt in the city. Mind you, this is no mean feat. It’s famous for breakfast (think French Toasted Pumpkin Bread with spiced clotted cream, candied bacon and butterscotch), but also has seriously drool-worthy lunch and dinner menus. Shout outs go to the Sticky Beef Cheek with Pork Wontons and Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder.


Tex-Mex lovers should hit up Cactus Jack’s for their famous Jalapeño Poppers, burger aficionados should indulge in Shaw & Co’s cheeseburger with bacon jam, and all our fellow members of the oyster appreciation society MUST try Michel’s Japanese Shooters with sake dressing, wakame and flying fish roe. Feelin’ fancy? Book in for the five-course chef’s selection degustation with matching wine at Seasoned. Then hit up Hooch & Fellow for a nightcap, or three.



A trip to Townsville isn’t complete without a day trip to neighbouring Magnetic Island (seriously, it’s like your own mini Bahamas!). Lined with Insta-friendly palm trees, Horseshoe Bay is our personal favourite, with Alma Bay, Radical Bay and Picnic Bay also amongst the must-visits.


Haven’t seen the Great Barrier Reef? Book in for a dive safari with Remote Area Dive (you can choose from a day trip or a weekend dive safari) around Pelorus and Orpheus Islands. Experienced divers must check out the best dive on the Great Barrier Reef and explore the famous SS Yongala Wreck with Adrenalin Snorkel & Dive. Now, go find Nemo!

For those adrenaline junkies, book in a jet ski tour of Cleveland Bay with Townsville Watersports, a 3-hour trip departing from Townsville’s Breakwater Marina, which takes you all the way up to the picturesque Cape Cleveland. Lunch included!



So, you’ve filled your belly with food (or cocktails, #nojudgement) and got the perfect Great Barrier Reef Insty, now it’s time to wrap up your long-weekend with one of Townsville’s (ridiculously beautiful) famous sunsets. Kick off your afternoon with ice-cream or a stand-up paddle board sesh on The Strand and finish the day with a twilight hike up to Castle Hill Lookout—the view here is unreal, so keep that battery charged and don’t hold back on the Insty stories.


So, got that new bikini yet? Tigerair flies direct from Melbourne to Townsville, check out for the latest deals.

Where 27 degrees is a normal winter day…

Posted by The Urban List | Melbourne on Monday, July 31, 2017


Editor’s note: This article is proudly sponsored by Tigerair and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

Image credit: Supplied. 

Design: Gabby Stjernvist.

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